My daughter has a new best friend. His name is Little and he is a pygmy goat. Unfortunately for her, he lives in Hayward, and it's unlikely we'll get down there from Berkeley to see him often. But for those of you who live in Oakland and south, Kennedy Park in Hayward is not far to go to get up close and personal with a gaggle of goats who like to frolic with children. It is located about 15 minutes south of the Oakland Airport.
The park is urban, with a flat field for running around, a basic playground with slides and swings, and a Target across the street. What makes it stand out are the zoo-like attractions: a train ride, a traditional carousel, and a petting zoo, each available for $2. These special features are open only on weekends and school vacation days, such as MLK Day.
There are also pony rides for $3.00, but they were not open when we visited, and we weren't sure why. They are adjacent to the petting zoo where kids have access to bunnies, pigs, and goats, all grouped under the heading “Triple Pines Ranch.” It's not very ranch-like, so set your expectations for animals living in a concrete and chain-link fence environment, even though the sign may remind you of summer camp or a boat rental shack in the Adirondacks.
If you are looking to impress out of town visitors, Tilden Park certainly offers the same features in a much more picturesque setting, but if one parent wants to tackle Target (across the street) while the other plays at the park, Kennedy Park offers a good time.
19501 Hesperian Blvd. Hayward, CA 94541